Saturday, February 26, 2011

Leyba Defense PLLC quoted in the Wall Street Journal

This past Friday, Leyba Defense PLLC was quoted in the Wall Street Journal.  A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a new bill that was being proposed in the Washington State Legislature that would require those convicted of DUI's to have a special letter in their license plate.  Well I was contacted last week by a journalist from the Wall Street Journal who wanted to write a story about this new bill, and some other states that have already enacted this kind of legislation.  Read the article here.

Matthew A. Leyba | DUI Attorney

Monday, February 21, 2011

New DUI case result

Below is my most recent DUI success.  At first glance this was a very difficult DUI case to take on.  But this result shows how hard work, extensive research, and a little luck can result in any case being dismissed.  In my opinion 99% of DUI lawyers out there would have just pled the client guilty.  Leyba Defense PLLC prides itself on pushing legal issues, and fighting until the end on behalf of our clients.  

February 2011 - .219/.217 DUI Dismissed for no PC to arrest
King County District Court: Matthew's client was arrested for DUI on I-5. Client was involved in a one car collision. Trooper noted slow and labored movements, watery bloodshot eyes, flushed face, odor of alcohol, and slurred speech. Client declined the field sobriety tests and blew a .219 and .217 alcohol level. Judge dismissed after DUI Lawyer Matthew Leyba filed a motion to dismiss for lack probable cause to arrest.

To see the results of our most recent success click here.  Remember lots of DUI Attorneys out there promise results, at Leyba Defense PLLC we get results.  There is a big difference.  

Matthew A. Leyba | Attorney
Seattle DUI Defense

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DUI and Entrance to Canada

Since Washington State borders Canada I bet a lot of you travel there fairly often.  I know my wife and I love to go to Vancouver, BC as much as we can.  We go there for the shopping, the nightlife, and the food.  Especially the dim sum and other great restaurants we have found.  Yum!

But what a lot of people may not know is a DUI can prevent you from entering Canada.  Even having a DUI amended down to a reckless driving or negligent driving can still prevent entrance to Canada.  In this blog I would like to explain the three ways to gain admittance after being convicted of a DUI.

1.  If the completion of your DUI sentence is less than 5 years old, you can apply for a temporary resident permit.  Last time I checked the cost is around $200.  However this process can take months.

2.  If your completed DUI sentence is more than 5 years ago, you can apply for approval of rehabilitation.  The nonrefundable fee is $200 or $1000 (depending on the severity of the crime).  You will need to provide a "police certificate" of criminal history, if any, from every state which you have lived more than six months since age 18.  Also, you will have to provide dates, home and work addresses for each state you lived in since age 18.  Processing time can take a year or more.

3.  If you had one DUI completed over 10 years ago, you can apply for approval of of rehabilitation actually right at the border.  You arrive at the border with application completed in hand.  If approved, the past DUI will no longer be an issue, and you can come and go as you please.

This is a tricky area of the law especially with DUI charges, DUI reductions, and Washington State being so close to canada.  Below are some links for additional information.  Remember if you have any questions feel free to call my office to speak with an experienced DUI Attorney.

Canada International FAQs

You can also call the immigration section of the Canadian Consulate at 206-443-1372.

Matthew A. Leyba
Seattle DUI Attorney

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Proposed legislation to require drivers convicted of DUI to be labeled with a "scarlet z"

Above is a link to a proposed bill requiring those convicted of DUI to have a letter z on their license plate.  Talk about a stupid idea.  This is just like the Scarlet Letter A, except its for people who were convicted of a DUI.  This state legislator is up in the night.  Come on.

Seattle DUI Defense

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday DUI Emphasis Patrols

Remember to be safe this Super Bowl weekend.  Extra DUI emphasis patrols are going to be out in both Seattle, and throughout Western Washington.  Click the article above to read the specific areas that are being targeted.  

Leyba Defense PLLC
Seattle DUI Defense

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pleasant interaction with Washington DOL today

Today I had a Washington Department of Licensing Administrative Hearing today.  For those of you that don't know what this is.  When a person gets arrested for a DUI or a Physical Control charge in Washington State they are usually asked to submit to a breath or blood test.  Based on the results of that test, the police officer will send in the results to DOL.  DOL will then automatically suspend that persons drivers license 60 days from the date of arrest, unless that suspension is challenged.  As a DUI Attorney my representation includes this DOL hearing, so as you can imagine I deal with DOL quite often.

Anyway I had a DOL hearing today for a client who was arrested in Seattle for a DUI charge.  This was clients first offense, and I had already negotiated a reduction to Negligent Driving First Degree.  This would ensure that my client would not face a license suspension from the Courts, however he was still facing one from DOL.  As part of my investigation I conduct a thorough review of the police report that DOL sends me.  I have created a 4 page checklist that I go through, so I don't miss any issues in the report that could argue to DOL.  Sometimes police officers forgot to check certain boxes, or they accidentally omit information, or they provide incorrect information.  These are just some of the many  technicalities that can result in a person winning their DOL hearing.

So on this particular case, I had noticed that the Officer had provided his breath test permit card.  This card shows that a police officer is qualified to administer the breath test.  However they expire every 3 years, and the police officer needs to renew it.  In this case the police officers permit card was expired on the day he arrested my client and administered the breath test.  The problem was that he checked a box in the police report that said he was qualified to administer the test and he had a current breath test permit card.  In addition to that at the beginning of the police report he had written some boiler plate language that Im sure he includes in every report, but it said he was qualified to administer the breath test.

Now even though the permit card was expired, I thought the DOL would find there were sufficient facts to show he was qualified based on the report that he submitted.  I had prepared a lengthy argument against this, including some contract law principles.  I was prepared to argue as much as I could to dismiss this license suspension.

Here is the pleasant part.  When the hearing officer called me, before he started the recording.  He told me that he noticed the police officer had an expired permit card, and I should make a motion when he starts the recording.  I was shocked to say the least.  Here I thought I was going to have to duke it out with this hearing officer over this DUI permit card, but the hearing officer recognized a legal technicality and rather than try to make up a reason not to honor it, he did the right thing.  Some hearing officers would not have done that, and probably would have suspended my clients drivers license.  But on this case, the hearing officer did what was not only right, but what was legal.

I made the motion to dismiss because there was insufficient foundation to introduce the breath test.  The hearing officer agreed, and dismissed the proposed license suspension.  BAM.  Thats what a little leg work, and preparation will do.

Remember if you have been accused of a DUI and you're facing a proposed license suspension from DOL make sure you challenge that suspension.  It can mean the difference between no license consequences at all versus a license suspension, mandatory ignition interlock, and SR-22 insurance.

Matthew A. Leyba | Attorney
Leyba Defense PLLC | Seattle DUI Defense

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

DUI Ignition Interlock requirements in Seattle

If you have been charged with a DUI or physical control offense in either Seattle or Washington State chances are you may be facing the possibility of having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.

In case you're not familiar with what this is.  An ignition interlock device or breath alcohol ignition interlock device (IID and BIID) is a mechanism, like a breathalyzer, installed to a motor vehicle's dashboard. Before the vehicle's motor can be started, the driver first must exhale into the device, if the resultant breath-alcohol concentration analyzed result is greater than the programmed blood alcohol concentration—usually 0.02% or 0.04%, the device prevents the engine from being started.

At random times after the engine has been started, the IID will require another breath sample. The purpose of this is to prevent a friend from breathing into the device, enabling the intoxicated person to get behind the wheel and drive away. If the breath sample isn't provided, or the sample exceeds the ignition interlock's preset blood alcohol level, the device will log the event, warn the driver and then start up an alarm (e.g., lights flashing, horn honking, etc.) until the ignition is turned off, or a clean breath sample has been provided. A common misconception is that interlock devices will simply turn off the engine if alcohol is detected; this would, however, create an unsafe driving situation and expose interlock manufacturers to considerable liability. An interlock device cannot turn off a running vehicle, all that an Interlock device can do is interrupt the starter circuit and prevent the engine from starting.

Now as I said before you have been charged with a DUI or physical control offense in Seattle or Washington State there are potentially 3 times you could face possibility of being required to have this device installed:

First, would be at your DUI arraignment in Seattle or Washington State.  From previous blog postings you should be familiar with this process.  If not click here, or visit my website.  At your arraignment the Judge will determine whether or not to impose conditions of your release while the DUI or Physical Control case is pending.  Typically these conditions include abstaining from alcohol, no driving unless valid license and insurance, and appear for all court dates.  However in certain circumstances the Judge can imposed enhanced conditions of your release.  These can include bail, electronic home monitoring, or installing an ignition interlock device.  These circumstances on determined on a case by case basis, and can occur if a person has been convicted of a DUI before, or if they were involved in an accident, or if they had a high breath test.  Unfortunately many DUI attorneys don't know the law for when these enhanced conditions can be imposed.  Usually if your case is filed in Seattle Municipal Court, chances are an ignition interlock device will be imposed at your arraignment.   At Leyba Defense PLLC we strenuously object to these conditions as a violation of a persons DUI process as well as a violation of the Criminal Rule 3.2 (release of the accused).  If you have had an ignition interlock device imposed at your arraignment, contact my firm immediately to determine the best course of action to get this thing removed.  As of the last 4 cases to have an IID imposed we have taken, my firm was able to get that condition released by the next court hearing.

Second, would be for any conviction of a DUI or Physical Control charge.  Based on a conviction the Department of License can require a person to install an ignition interlock device for either 1, 5, or 10 years depending on the number of prior requirements, and the persons criminal history.

Third, would be if you applied for an ignition interlock license.  In Washington State the Legislature passed a bill a couple of years ago which no longer required a person to sit out their license suspension.  Now if a person get their license suspended either administratively or from a conviction, they can apply for an ignition interlock license.  There are three requirements: 1. Install an ignition interlock device in car, 2. Apply and get SR-22 insurance, 3. Fill out the application and send in the fee to DOL.  Once DOL receives proof of these three requirements, it usually takes 3-5 business days to issue the ignition interlock license.

If you have been ordered to install an ignition interlock device from your DUI or Physical Control in Seattle or Washington State, you should contact my firm immediately to understand the requirements exactly.  If a person has been ordered to have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, and they get caught driving without it, there can be severe sanctions imposed.  Bail and your personal recognizance can be revoked, you could be charged with a new criminal offense, and you can face other potential collateral consequences.

Matthew A. Leyba | DUI Attorney